Giovanni Andrea of ??Ferrari
(Genoa, 1598 - 1669)
The Holy Family
Oil on canvas, cm 99 x 111 (with frame cm 115 x127)
Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari is one of the best known masters of the 17th century Genoese school.
Born around 1598, the artist, initiated into painting by Bernardo Castello, shortly after went to the studio of Bernardo Strozzi (around 1613-1619) where his real training took place, as his first works testify. Soon, however, Giovanni Andrea shows that he must set himself apart from the elegant patterns of late International Mannerism, learned from the latter, moving towards a firmer and more compact material, towards a more accentuated naturalistic conception.
In the "strozzismo" of the first years and in contact with the art of Procaccini, Morazzone, Cerano, Barabino, his language also opens up to a new pictorial softness and surface elegance, while in the fourth decade he There is a greater approach to Sarzana and to the Flemish and Vandicjian painting technique. It was the time of the numerous and sometimes large altarpieces, marked among other things by the relationship with the Capuchin of Alassio, Francesco Maria Giancardi, for him a true spiritual guide and a master of theological concepts. ideas, of undoubted benefit in the rendering of the subjects represented.
After this period of renowned church paintings, from the forties of the 17th century, Giovanni Andrea appeared more and more inclined to satisfy, even with paintings of more modest proportions, the needs of a private client, intended for a cultivated collection (biblical subjects) or to a domestic and intimate devotion.
To this genre and to this period belongs the Holy Family in object, an expression of a more sincere vein, devoid of rhetoric. Even the color is exalted by being composed of soft contrasts of lights and shadows and reflections, through flashes of light of the serpentine tendency: in the center of the composition, dressed in a rosaceous robe, is the Child. , seated on Mary's knees, holding her hand; on the opposite side, Saint-Joseph, with the staff on the left, leans with his right hand on a stone plinth visible in the foreground.
The sentimental intensity of the contained gestures and the silent serenity, the stylistic characteristics and the particular material component of the execution led to this painting being referred to Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari.
The painting, as the first canvas, has undergone a conservative restoration in a specialized laboratory. It is accompanied by the expertise of the art historian prof. Massimo Pirondini, specialist in 17th century Italian painting.
It comes out of collection with a 17th Salvator Rosa lacquered and mecca gilded wood frame.
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